Daylight Saving Time

by Berck

The bugs produce a ghastly, comforting sound that forces its way into my window, merging with the sounds of a ball bearing being hurled from one side to the other of a can of paint. The scruffy looking guy who lives next to my acquaintances is attempting to cover something hanging on his porch with a can of paint. I didn’t feel inclined to study the object in question long enough to identify it, for doing so might have inadvertadently made the man feel like he should be “friendly” and engage me in pointless trifling conversation. He, like most every one who lives near me is, I’m sure, incapable of conversation that I would find enjoyable. Occasionally when bullied into a conversation with some of them, I’ll remain in a state of observance for some eternity while my mouth responds without the aide of my brain on questions regarding the state of the weather and condition of the roads, though it doesn’t actually, that’s merely a phrase I’ve rather liked, stolen from Jane Austin in a somewhat indirect manner as I’ve never bothered to read anything she’s written. At some point, perhaps, the condition of the roads was as inspiring a conversation as the current state of the weather, but unless one is traveling, such a conversation is generally too penetrating to engage in, and the weather is left as the primary focus of those conversations where at least one, if not both parties, are uninterested in such conversation but feel that the other expects such an attempt.

I’d just returned from a rather exhilarating drive on this, one of our first summer nights. Despite it not being summer, Texas has only a few kinds of nights, and both spring and autumnal nights are rare. Tonight was only barely a summer night, there was still something crisp about the air swirling around the cockpit of my car at speed.

After taking a bath this afternoon, I collapsed on my bed with a terrible headache, awaiting the dulling powers of the little blue elliptical drugs I’d swallowed a few moments before. Not long thereafter the sounds of the birds chirping and kids playing lulled me to sleep. . . I awoke at six o’clock, reflecting that it was Sunday and that if I wanted to watch the television programmers which I occasionally enjoyed on the Christian Sabbath, my stubbornness would require that I wandered downstairs to the apartment of my acquaintances. I had finally gotten Peter to take the television out of the living room and into his room as he is perpetually watching it and I cannot tolerate the sounds of a television for very long. In doing so, I remarked that if I never saw another television show, I would not feel cheated in the least. This is true, but had the television still been in the living room I probably would have switched it on at 8pm. It was not, and so I wondered if Todd was home, and if so, if he’d eaten anything, and if not, if he’d be interested in going out to acquire victuals. Almost simultaneously, I realized that it was in fact not six pm, but that thanks to been Franklin’s annoying idea of shifting time around at this time of year, the society in which I live had pronounced the time as 7pm. I then thought about arguing with them and persisting in living in standard time. Measuring time is a somewhat restricting notion which though occasionally convenient, generally irks me. To make matters worse, we not only insist upon measuring time, but do it on a ridiculous scale based on 60 which is not a natural scale for anyone but the Sumerians who were obviously confused. Perhaps they had 60 digits on their hands. Even worse, twice a year, we’ve decided for no good reason to manipulate our manner of counting time. In any case, the television companies generally agree with society (or ARE society–i suppose the distinction is semantic) and as such, Todd would be sitting on a couch with a guitar in his hand engrossed in the Simpson’s, as is his way.

I fiddled with my computer, got it to set it’s clock precisely to the naval observatory clock in Colorado while compensating for time zones. I then reset my watch to match.

I had an odd taste in my mouth, and desired a Dr. Pepper, but there wasn’t any in my abode. I wondered once again whether the odd taste was a result of having been sick, or the antibiotics, or some combination of the two. I decided to go buy some, but as I headed toward my car, I realized that I didn’t want to go to the hell that is the Albertson’s near my apartment. It smells bad. I walked by Todd’s apartment on my way to my car, and noticed through the glass door that he was indeed on the couch with a guitar, but an acquaintance of his I detest was sitting on his couch. I kept walking and neither of them noticed me pass. I started driving north. I’m not sure why, but ever since I learned to drive, whenever I wanted to drive, I would head north. Usually because the southern side of any city I’ve been in tends to be inhabited by those with less money and the streets have more traffic lights, and my little car is out of place. I hate traversing poor areas of town in a shiny red car, as though I’m parading my wealth. Plus, overall, I desire to be further north than I am now. I’m not sure if I would like the north better if I grew up there, but as it is, I don’t much like the south. It has a depressing quality to me. I find heat oppressive and restricting. There is something liberating about cool, crisp air. Even if I like sweet tea.

As I headed north, near the area where I work, the places to spend money looked more clean, had brick facades… The cars tend to have upside down peace signs and pinwheels. I reflected that I would get a chicken sandwich and dr. pepper at chic-fil-a, but before I got there, I remembered that they pride themselves in their Christian orientation and close shop on Sundays. I continued north and saw Jason’s Deli, and it caught my fancy. I got the same thing I’ve always gotten there since I first saw a Jason’s Deli 6 years ago. I returned to my car and it had finally gotten dark, and the air had cooled off a bit more. I then thought I should probably get some dr. pepper from the store in can format so I’d be less tempted to spend money at restaurants. The first store I came across in that area (with which I’m not too familiar) was a Kroger. It was a very nice looking Kroger, complete with brick facade. I wandered in and looked at the shoppers. Female, mostly. Everyone I encountered was attractive, and I wondered if attractiveness was in some way related to the acquisition of money. Most everyone was young as well, young married couples, a few with young children. My car was parked between two German automobiles. I wandered about the isles and eventually found the Dr. Pepper. $7.98 for a 24 can pack. I sighed in disgust, and was somehow amazed that people will pay such a premium on clean floors in their grocery store. I headed a little farther north and found and Albertson’s, it too had a brick facade. Unlike any other Albertson’s I’d been in, this one was complete with a Starbuck’s coffee sign. I looked at it, remembered that I didn’t like Starbucks, so I sneered at it. I wondered why I didn’t like Starbucks, and couldn’t exactly remember. Something to do with being a large corporation with little interest in the human condition. This Albertson’s was a veritable paradise in comparison to the one I generally shop in. It smelled nice. The floors were clean. Everything was nicely arranged. The employees didn’t stink. I found the Dr. Pepper, it was on sale for $3.99 for a 24 can pack. I put one in each hand, paid for them, and filled the trunk of my car with them. As I started driving off, I decided that I’d like to see a movie. There was something forbidden about watching a movie on Sunday night, it seemed, and something odd about seeing a movie alone. I wondered why, because there is little one does during the watching of a movie in terms of interaction with another person. Something about the shared experience that made it worth while, something that makes us human. I headed even farther north to the movie theater I like and walked in. It was mostly empty, and a decent looking movie was showing in 2 minutes, at 7:15, according to the board outside. I walked in and the woman at the counter informed me that the time was 8:15. I looked at my watch and decided that it was, in fact, 7:15 and this woman had reset her watch twice. She insisted that the time had changed and that I hadn’t reset my watch. I sighed and told her I had. I had, really, I thought I had. But then, upon thinking about, I realized that she was right, because I left my house not long after 7, had since gotten dinner and dr. pepper, so there was no way it could be 7:15. I decided once again that maybe I really would boycott daylight savings time.

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